The great sadness of the 21st century is our loss of the romantic cities of the world. Once-diverse Rio, Paris, Beijng and Bombay have become vast bastions of concrete teeming with identical automobiles and shopping malls.
John Berger said it best, “Delocalization refers not only to the practice of moving production and services to where labor is cheapest, but also to the plan of destroying the status of all earlier fixed places so that the entire world becomes a Nowhere, and a single liquid market.”
Rio, Paris, Beijing and Bombay (now Mumbai) are pictured above.
Can you tell which is which?
We must stimulate the romance within us, unleash our secret muses, free our inner beagles lest we succumb to the muffled, heavy death of encasement in concrete and steel.
Shall we find again the Paris that was?
Can Beijing return to the Orient of yesterday?
Will Bombay ever show us her secret places?
Do sea birds still gather in Rio?
Now show me your face and I'll dry your tears.
Lean close and I'll tell you a secret:
These places are safe and they wait for you.
The giants hid them behind the covers of books.